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World League 2003 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Italy beat Portugal 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 28-26) - duration 1:23
14-Jun, start time: 18:00, end time: 19:23 - Attendance: 3,040
Italy emerges the stronger to beat Portugal in straight sets
Faced with the daunting task of beating the World League's historically most successful team, the Portuguese side, while not prevailing, still delivered excellent volleyball to an enthusiastic crowd. The first set was very balanced with the "Squadra Azzurra" delivered some powerful attacks at the hands of Biribanti and Zlatanov and took the advantage. Then Portugal recovered and took the lead (19/18) with two good services from Andre Lopes before Fei stepped up to serve for Italy and gave them the set 25-22.
In the second set Portugal improved their block and, well supported by Jorge Alves, delivered better volleyball. Alves was the best attacker and his points scored motivated the Portuguese Team. Italy took the lead 22-18, Portugal responded pulling back to (21-23) but the Italians were better in the end and took the set 25-22.
In the final set Portugal gave a rough time to the three time World Champions and the two teams leveled at 10-all but the Italian team, with Zlatanov on the net took an advantage of four points (14/18). Although Portugal was able to hold onto the Italians commendably, experience won the day and they wrapped up the last set 28-26 to seal the match.
/mh